Who Will Head The Major Jewish Federations of America?

Federations Scramble To Replace Retiring Leaders

Kurt Hoffman

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published January 06, 2014, issue of January 10, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

Salaries also vary widely when the size of the federation is taken into account. Ira Schwartz, who last May abruptly quit his job heading the Philadelphia federation, earned $450,000 in 2012. His organization spent $33 million that year. Kleinman earned $322,000, though his federation was far larger than Philadelphia’s, spending $40 million that year. The human resources director at MetroWest, Bonnie Sterling, said that the relative underpayment of the federation’s former CEO would not hinder its search, which is just getting started. “To date it has not been a problem,” Sterling said.

Still, Sterling said that the market could force changes over the course of the search. “This is an unusual time in that there are so many federations that are conducting searches,” Sterling said. “As with any employer who needs to fill a position, we would have to take into account what the market will indicate.”

Gorovitz, meanwhile, was one of the most underpaid large federation executives in the country, according to an independent analysis of the Forward’s 2013 salary survey. She earned less than both Kleinman and Schwartz, just $311,000 in 2012, while her organization spent $134 million, many times more than either of their groups.

She also is the only woman to ever lead any of the largest American federations.

Berkofsky said that salaries were determined based on a range of factors, and that CEO salaries could not be compared. However, Mark Charendoff, former president of the Jewish Funders Network and current president of the Maimonides Fund, acknowledged “a lot of flaws” in the federation compensation system. But, he said, they mirror flaws found in for-profit executive compensation today.

“I would not expect the not-for-profit salaries to line up in a logical model, because I don’t think for-profit salaries line up in a logical model,” he said.

Charendoff suggested that, given Jewish communal concerns about engaging young people, the highest-paid Jewish federation executives shouldn’t be the CEOs, but rather the youth leaders. “I would expect to see a bidding war for outstanding and charismatic youth leaders or people who are in the Jewish engagement business,” Charendoff said. “I wouldn’t necessarily value a fundraiser over someone who’s in the business of delivering services.”

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at nathankazis@forward.com or on Twitter, @ joshnathankazis

This article was updated on January 8.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.